Gary Player (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Player is one of only a few men to achieve golf’s Grand Slam (winning each of the four major tournaments), and at twenty-nine, he was at that time the youngest player to do so. He won numerous championships worldwide and helped to promote golf as an athletic sport.
Gary Jim Player was the youngest of three children born to Francis Harry Audley Player and Muriel Marie Ferguson in Johannesburg, South Africa. His father was a foreman in a gold mine for more than thirty years. The Player family was not destitute, but the financial resources were never abundant during Player’s childhood. When Player was eight years old, his mother died of cancer. This tragedy proved to be an almost devastating blow to the young Player. Player, however, surmounted the loss. Thus, Player began a lifelong struggle to conquer whatever challenge or challenger loomed in his path. This determination to succeed was fueled by his elder brother, Ian, who encouraged him to excel despite his diminutive stature. Spurred by his determination to triumph over those bigger than himself, which was just about everyone, Player launched himself into athletic competition. Goaded by his brother’s fraternal intolerance, Player was ultimately voted all-round athlete at King Edward School in Johannesburg.
Since his father was a two-handicap golfer, it was perhaps inevitable that Player would seek parental approval by...
(The entire section is 2143 words.)
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